Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Party Snack Ideas: "Snowflake" Pretzel Snacks

These "Snowflake" pretzel snacks are a great idea for Frozen themed parties, and using only two ingredients (three if you use sugar or sprinkles), they're super easy to make!

What you'll need:
  • Almond bark or Wilton melting chips
  • Pretzels
  • Sanding sugar or sprinkles
  • Parchment paper
Use pretzel rods to make magic wands for Cinderella themed parties, or regular pretzels for that snowflake look for Frozen themed parties.

Different colored sprinkles make these a great choice for just about any party theme! 

Here's a step by step tutorial from Chef Maid Mom.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Party Craft Ideas: No-Sew Jedi Robes

It's always so much fun when we arrive at a party and we're greeted by a gaggle of costumed kids. If you're having a Star Wars themed party, these no-sew Jedi robes are a great idea! They're super easy to make, and your little Padawans will definitely look the part in all those awesome birthday pictures. 

  • Inexpensive dark brown fabric, or lighter tan for your Rey fans (yardage will depend on the number of guests)
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure

NOTE: Be sure to make the robes long enough to come down to the knees, otherwise it's too easy for them to slip up past the belt when your Padawan is practicing his fancy new Lightsaber moves. 

Here's a step-by-step tutorial from Mom Endeavors.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Party Snack Ideas - Rainbow Popsicles

Having a Rainbow themed party? These rainbow popsicles are a great treat for summer parties. They're SO pretty, and since they're made of fresh fruit, they won't bring that dreaded sugar crash the way store-bought treats tend to.

Here's what you'll need for each layer:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt, vanilla or plain
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • water or liquid for blending

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt, vanilla or plain
  • 1/2 cup frozen peaches
  • 1 small orange
  • 1/4 cup frozen mango
  • water or liquid for blending
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt, vanilla or plain
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • water or liquid for blending

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt, vanilla or plain
  • 1 handful (or more) spinach
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • water or liquid for blending

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt, vanilla or plain
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • small amount of blue food coloring
  • water or liquid for blending

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt, vanilla or plain
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • water or liquid for blending

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt, vanilla or plain
  • 1/2 cup sliced beets
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries or raspberries

 And here's the full recipe, with step-by-step instructions from The First Layer.

 Happy snacking!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Bay Area Maker Faire 2016

This past weekend was the 16th annual Maker Faire in the Bay Area.  I got to go for the very first time and experience the madness.

The place was huge, and although I spent one and a half days there I feel like I only saw maybe 20% of the projects on display.  Granted, I spent almost all my time in the LED tent since that's where all the blinkiest rainbowy projects were.  But there sure was lots to see.

I hung out for a while with Nick Donaldson from Got Robots and his amazing hexapod Marauder.   Marauder is a roller skating, dancing, singing giant buglike creature and was far and away the most lifelike robot I saw at the event.  He was constantly surrounded by crowds of admirers and it was really fun to watch the kids react to him.

Inside the LED tent there were so many beautiful things to see.  My favorite was probably getting to watch the fashion show.  There were maybe 8-10 designers showcasing a really broad range of LED dresses and wearables.  I loved the Chinese lantern-inspired dresses -- they were incredibly detailed and unique.

I visited the FlowToys booth and got to play in the LED forest, and really enjoyed all the interactive installations.

But my favorite part was the people.  It was so exciting and inspiring to get to wander around and meet so many artists, inventors, innovators and creators in such a small space.  In one afternoon I got to see so much incredible LED artwor, watch a neon tube bending demonstration, feel the heat from large scale fire art sculptures, geek out with fashion vendors and jewelry makers, hang with robots and get hugs from incredibly realistic dragon puppets.   Really, the only thing missing was a mermaid presence!  Maybe I'll have to bring Glimmer out next year. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Party Craft Ideas: Sock Hobby Horse

Having a Toy Story or Cowboy themed party? Why not make these adorable DIY Sock Hobby Horses for you little Buckaroos? They work great for Unicorn themed parties too! Just add horn! They're so easy to make, your little ones can help, and you can even use them for Cowboy themed games at the party! 

What you'll need: 

  • Dowel rod
  • 1 sock 
  • Felt or yarn for the mane (or feather boas are great for Unicorns!)
  • Scissors
  • Sewing needle
  • Thread
  • 2 buttons per horse
  • Turbo tacky glue
  • Ribbon
  • Synthetic stuffing
Here are some examples, to get your art mind going: 

Here's the full video tutorial from Guidecentral English

Friday, May 13, 2016

A Life In Gowns Part 2: Meet Sarah

Ever wonder who we are when we're not all glitzed up, entertaining your little ones with our mad face paint and balloon skills, or dazzling them with our big bag of magic tricks? We're a diverse group of folk, each coming from a different performance background, and with a little bit of a different story. 

Allow me to introduce: Princess Sarah!

Sarah is certainly no stranger to performance. Being a 3rd generation performer (her mother's mother, Robin Good, did Shakespeare at the Old Globe, and her grandfather was an actor, too), it's literally in her blood. Originally from Los Angeles, but raised bicoastally between LA and Rhode Island, Sarah moved to the Bay Area about 9 years ago, and responded to an ad looking for a Jasmine entertainer for a birthday party. She had been a costume shop manager, pattern maker, and wardrobe and fashion designer at San Diego Repertory Theater, and since her father's originally from Jordan, it seemed like a match made in Princess heaven. 

When she was little, Sarah dreamed of being an artist, but assumed this meant she had to be a painter. There was also a brief period when she wanted to be a lawyer, but her love of costuming and sparkle won out in the end. The eldest of three siblings, Sarah used to spend hours making up silly songs and playing games with her sister and brother, who wanted be a Bunny Rabbit and a Tractor respectively. That might sound silly, but as Sarah says "With costuming, anything is possible!" 

Sarah has possibly the most extensive costume collection of any of our entertainers, and thanks to her background in costuming and theatrical makeup, she's adding new characters all the time. Obviously, Jasmine is a very natural character for Sarah, but she really loves playing original characters that she's come up with, or that birthday kids have requested. Party hosts often ask if she made her costume, and the answer is almost always "YES!" Wether she's built the whole thing from scratch, or pieced it together, just about every one of her costumes is a original creation of her very own imagination. 

Sarah's great at everything she does, but especially enjoys doing Diva style parties with glitter tattoos, hair bling, makeovers, and runway shows, because she gets to bring her love of costuming and styling to the parties. "You really get to help the kids find their inner sparkle!" she says. Plus, the birthday girl and her friends get to be the stars! Sarah always emphasizes that sparkle comes from within, and that it's all about bringing your own confidence into whatever you do. For Runway parties, she always says "It's your walk -  bring your own special attitude to it!" 

Sarah's done tons of parties for kids ages 4 - 8, but really loves it when all the party guests get involved. She loves working with older kids, too, because "They still want to believe in magic, all you have to do is give them an excuse." 

After over 800 parties with Fire Pixie, Sarah has a lot of happy memories, but one in particular stands out in a big way: 

"I was Sofia, and the family had this whole huge hall rented out just for the party. After we did our Princess Procession, the birthday girl did a phenomenal full-on rendition of Let It Go, and I was absolutely awestruck! "Later, when we were playing Limbo, all the women in the family joined hands an formed a giant circle around us and cheered for each guest as they took their turn. I was floored and on the verge of tears the whole time because it was just so beautiful!" 

Outside of Fire Pixie, Sarah is a genuine Jill-Of-All-Trades. She's a model and actor, and recently started doing voice acting, too. She frequently works with Mario Chiodo studios doing costuming and photo shoot styling for the packaging for their Halloween costumes and wigs - you've likely seen her work in your local costume shop. She also designs custom costumes for herself and other live performance artists. 

Currently, she's working on a very special project for an upcoming Adventure Time themed wedding. "We'll have a Rainicorn Bride, and a Jake the Dog Groom!", says Sarah, "I never thought I'd be making someone's wedding dress, but this was just too much fun to pass up!"

She works with a variety of performance groups around the Bay Area and beyond. She's one of the founding members of The New Eccentrics (who brought you the world's first Pop Up Book Musical), and as a long-time member of The New Old Time Chautauqua, Sarah has entertained in underserved communities all over the US. This winter and spring, you can see her performing with the Golden Thread Fairy Tale Players, an educational outreach program which features theater from and about the Middle East. Catch her as Princess Tamar in their their production of "Princess Tamar Rescues Nazar the Brave".

Sarah's also a fantastic roller skater! If you happen to attend the Church of 8 Wheelsweekly family lesson and skate, you might catch Sarah skating around the rink in full Princess garb. Recently, she also teamed up with Fire Pixie's own Erin to debut one of Erin's newest LED creations

If you'd like to invite Sarah to your party to inspire your little girls to follow their dreams, you can book her here

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Frozen Wonderland Party Decoration Ideas

Having a Frozen themed party and looking for ideas to transform your living room / yard / garage /etc in to a sparkling Winter Wonderland? 

Let's Eat Fiction has some great ideas for decorating for your party on a budget! These homemade decorations look great, and they're so easy that you and your little Princess can even make them together!

Decorations definitely make the party, and provide a wonderful backdrop for all your guest photos. 

Follow along and learn to make gorgeous hanging snowballs, falling snow garlands, coffee filter snowflakes, tissue paper flowers, and decorative center pieces, all from things you can find at your local Dollar Tree, Target (check the dollar section), or hobby store. :)